Serious Eats contributor Matthew Amster-Burton just tipped me to this review of Wondee Siam in the Bangkok Post: "I read the Bangkok Post review every Friday, and I've never seen them venturing outside Thailand before."
After brushing off popular Sri Praphai, the paper's Ung-Aang Talay writes:
Wondee Siam's som tam Thai was quite authentic, made from crunchy strands of green papaya with only a few easily avoidable threads of carrot thrown in for colour. It also included crisp, sweet green beans and American cherry tomatoes, so much tastier and more fragrant than local Thai equivalents. Sourness seemed to come from American limes, perhaps Key limes, whose flavour was close enough to Thai manao. The crab, however, was alien, larger and with a thicker shell than poo na and more difficult to eat, but still viable. It was made sour and hot and was very satisfying.
Talay also liked the soft-shell crab there. [Snip, after the jump.]
Served with mango salad, it was big and sweet and came crisp and hot from the fryer. U-a T has rarely had the crab cooked as expertly as this in Thailand, and the type of crab used—blue crab?—was perfect for the dish; crisp on the outside but without any excessive chewiness or toughness.
A bit of fun trivia, Talay notes that Wondee Siam was forced to do away with the practice of offering separate Thai (authentic) and English (truncated) menus when guest after guest bothered the staff for English translations of the Thai version.
792 Ninth Avenue, New York NY 10019 (52nd/53rd; map) 212-459-9057